Aud India boss Balbir Singh Dhillon confirmed that at least two more ICE-powered vehicles are lined up for launch in the remaining months of 2021. The company’s future portfolio will be a mix of petrol and electric vehicles.
After a really long wait, Audi India has finally entered the luxury electric vehicle segment with the e-tron and the e-tron Sportback. The new offerings mark a new strategy for the automaker as it aims to offer a more rounded product portfolio to its customers. And for that, the company will be adding more models to its stable in the country soon. In fact, the automaker has at least two more ICE models lined up for launch within this calendar year. Speaking to carandbike on the latest episode of Freewheeling with SVP, Balbir Singh Dhillon – Head of Audi India confirmed the development.
Balbir said, “At this point in time, our portfolio is not complete, we still have models that are missing. But we will see these models coming in the next couple of months. So it’s only a matter of time when we have the full arsenal. You will see we coming back into the game very strongly.”
The Audi boss further elaborated that the company’s new strategy to move from a petrol + diesel strategy to petrol + electrification, which was implemented with the transition to BS6 emission regulations. He explained that while the luxury space is still largely diesel-driven, customers have accepted its petrol product line-up, including the ones in the SUV segment.
“We are really looking forward to get more products because we are a car company, that is the bottom line and we need to have all the products. Yes, we didn’t have some products for some time and that was a bold decision that we took that we discontinue diesel technology. And nothing comes without pain. But we were mindful of that,” he said further.
Speaking about the company’s expanding product portfolio going forward, Dhillon said, “We will be there at entry-level, we will be there at top-end. We will have SUVs, we will have sedans, we will have ICE engines, we will have electric cars. So we are going to fill up all the space which at this point of time we don’t have the cars.”
The Audi boss did not divulge more details on which models are scheduled to arrive later this year but there is a strong possibility that the company will bring the Audi Q7 facelift and the Q5 facelift to the country. Both models have received a mid-life upgrade and come with powerful petrol engines. Both models used to be hot-sellers for Audi in India until a couple of years ago. There is also a possibility that the Q5 SUV will be joined by the Q5 Sportback in the country. While Audi is yet to confirm more details, a launch around the festive season is likely.
Elaborating more on bringing cars in India and the company’s decision to be selective about its offerings, Balbir said, “The last few years have also seen the cost of manufacturing cars also going up. So, the segment at the bottom end of the pyramid is Extremely competitive. Selling cars in that segment comes with a lot of difficulty or pain. The car prices have also gone up, and off-late they are also going up. You see the commodity prices, shipment costs, and foreign exchange. And this impacts the luxury segment much more than the volume segment. All these things do play a role. Don’t expect the price points which were there a couple of years back. But we will definitely bring in cars from entry-level.”
Audi’s future product line-up will largely be petrol + electric and the company plans to bring more EVs to the market by 2025. The strategy to bring more electric cars with Audi’s global move towards electrification. The company plans to go electric globally by 2033.